Carribean: can you have it both ways?

Jan 5th, 2007, 11:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Carribean: can you have it both ways?

Hello! Aiy ya ya ya ya...I am overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to have it both ways on an island in the carribean. Can anyone advise?

Travellers: Mom, Dad, 15 year old daughter and 14 year old son (both who are way too cool to ever be impressed with anything, so they're only getting a partial vote,lol)

Activities: Dad and kids are certified SCUBA divers and will dive. Mom likes the beach and spa.

Dislikes: anything remotely resembling Daytona beach during Spring break. Do not want to deal with traffic, crowds, or fighting for a lounge chair by the pool.

Likes: different cultures/food/drink, serenity, nature stuff that are not tourist traps (ie: like those alligator 'farms' in Florida that pack in hundreds of people...not for us).

Hates: shopping!!!

Problem: Trying to find an island that is not traffic congested, but still has some activities to drag the kids, I mean BRING the teens to and enjoy that hundreds of other people aren't at as well.

Does this even exist? I'm thinking that I will probably end up on some out of the way hotel and rent a car to any activities we may want to do. Any suggestions?

I know I am asking for something that doesn't exist, but there has to be something between Guana Cay and Miami kinds of places, no?

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

anita63 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 11:32 AM
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My first thought is Grand Cayman. It's got resorts with amenities plus the diving.

Caneel Bay resort on St. John or perhaps a resort in the BVI's might work for you as well.
tpatricco is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 11:52 AM
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I agree with St. John.

Try Caneel Resort, Westin Resort or Gallows Point Resort. Gallows is very family friendly and walkable to Cruz Bay. Watersports and dive available at Low Key Watersports 1 minute walk. Caneel and Westin are not, but have everything on site. The teens would like Gallows simply to walk around. Also From Gallows, you can easily ferry over to East End of St. Thomas.

Rent a car from St. John Car rental too and explore the island.

If you like a great upscale "camping" experience--check out Cinnamon Bay:

It is a "sister" property to Caneel.
marbleheadguy is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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gallows point is at:
marbleheadguy is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 12:28 PM
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I dearly love the Cayman Islands but traffic at certain times of day is a given. I've gone a mile in about 15 minutes when I timed my travel incorrectly. Never fun.
dianejoan is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 12:37 PM
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Here's another vote for Caneel Bay on St. John. The diving and snorkeling are excellent, the beachs are superb and there's a spa for your pampering. the island itself is attractive and 2/3's of it is a national park 9great for hiking) so even "in-season" the island doesn't feel very crowded. There are plenty of good restaurants, some shopping, and other activities that will please the whole family, even your "way too cool" children.

Actually, I think you are a bit mis-informed about the Caribbean. There are a great many destinations that are uncrowded and only a few of the bigger ones have that "Daytona Beach during Spring Break" feel. Since you don't like crowds, etc. avoid the major islands like Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico (parts near San Juan and other cities - some of the outlying areas are very seculded), St. Thomas, St. Martin, Aruba.

For islands that offer what you are seeking check out places like Anguilla, St. John, Grand Cayman, Virgin Gorda, St. Kitts, Nevis, or perhaps Antigua.
A_Traveller is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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I'll go in a different direction and recommend the island of Grenada in the southern Caribbean. I'm not a diver, but I hear that its diving is decent to pretty good. The island itself is gorgeous, lush, and mountainous but with some spectacular beaches--some white sand, some darker sand, even a few black sand. You can go for a hike and swim in waterfalls. You can visit the open air spice market. You can visit the sister island of Carriacou for a *reallly* off the beaten path experience. And then every Friday the village of Gouyave shuts off its streets to traffic and sets up vendors for Fish Friday--every kind of seafood imaginable, plus live music, a real street party that is also family friendly. The harbour of St. George's is quite picturesque. You can visit a nutmeg plantation or a chocolate "factory" that is so small that makes dark chocolate that is so good that it doesn't produce enough to sell off the island. There's a variety of restaurants in all price ranges. The roads are great, the people who live there are friendly, and while it lacks major fast food chains (or nearly any kind of corporate chain), it still provides certain ameneties like large grocery stores and pharmacies for any kind need you might have.

You can have your choice of hotels, resorts, inns, guesthouses, and villas in any price range you could wish.
ejcrowe is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 01:25 PM
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Just to give you more options (or confuse you more) I'll mention St. Kitts.

It is just an ok snorkeling destination, but gets pretty good reviews for diving. Two of the operators are Kenneth's Dive Center and Dive St. Kitts.

The island is not overbuilt so far, and is not known as a shopping destination. There are rainforest and volcano hikes offered, catamaran day trips to Nevis for snorkeling and lunch, Brimstone Hill, a wonderful fort to visit, and many friendly beach bars. You will see the resident vervet monkeys as you drive around.

The island is beautiful, and the people are warm and friendly.

For you there is the spa and beach at the Marriott.

Good luck with your choices!

cw is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 01:49 PM
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St John--much as we avid snorkelers adore the island-- is not an especially great island for diving.
poss is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 04:44 PM
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not for diving?????????

Check out low key watersports who will take you to amazing dive spots around Sty. John...

To suggest that St John has no dive sites is like saying Italy has no wine.

marbleheadguy is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 04:44 PM
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to dianejoan, Cayman does tick all the boxes the OP asks for, but yes, there is traffic... but only on Seven Mile Beach.

Go to Cayman Brac, Little Cayman or the Eastern Districts of Grand Cayman and there is no traffic at all.
TomCayman is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 07:51 PM
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Thank you everyone for the info...I can narrow down my research!
anita63 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 08:26 PM
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You might try these websites as well:

Both are family oriented, on or close to the beach, great food small island with very friendly folks and there is great diving and snorkling on island.

The island is also VERY safe, so your kids can run around a bit and have a great time as well.

Have a great time.
wantsomesun is offline  
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